Oyster Water Filter

Photo credit: Reddit

Believe it or not, both tanks you see above contain water from the same place and time, but the one on the right features a natural filter…oysters. Maryland-based nonprofit conservation, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, filmed this time-lapse video of oysters clearing the waters of the east coast estuary. It’s a big concern when their population dipped to as low as 4% of their normal levels, since adult oysters are capable of pumping and straining up to two gallons of water in an hour. The simple act of eating makes them the bay’s most effective filtration system. Continue reading for a video and more information.

The Chesapeake Bay’s once-flourishing oyster population historically filtered excess nutrients from the estuary’s entire water volume every three to four days. Today, that would take nearly a year. Excess sediment, nutrients, and algae can result in the eutrophication of a body of water. Oyster filtration can mitigate these pollutants.

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